Aphro’s Functional Art Pieces Are a Must-See

“Behind value, sex, and power, behind everything that so many parts of the human experience runs on,” opens curator Stephanie Frondoso, “there is desire.” The statement for the Aphro’s online show is short, succinct, and reflects the heart of what Aphroliving is all about.

Desire can come in many forms, as many as there are under the sun; there’s no telling what might strike your fancy. And with such an eclectic mix of functional art in the Objects of Desire catalogue, it might be high time to consider sprucing up the quarantine shelter another way—be it with pottery, stoneware, wearables, or, even, an artist’s thong. A concept store named after the Greek goddess of love herself, Aphro doesn’t discriminate what your art and design kinks are. Meanwhile, the usual inventory turnaround of the store itself makes it that visitors never enter the same space twice.

From the Edition Credit JL Javier, Aphro Interior
Aphro interior in 2017. Image lifted from the "Bless this Mess," Aphro's feature on the Edition.ph, photo courtesy of JL Javier.
Paola Germar Two’s a Charmer 13 x 9.5 x 6.25 in jusi, lace, seed beads 2020 Cartellino
Paola Germar. Two’s a Charmer. 13 x 9.5 x 6.25 inches. Jusi, lace, seed beads. 2020. (Included in Objects of Desire.)
KRISTA NOGUERAS Waves and Swells II 3.25 x 5 x 5 in high-fired stoneware 2020
Krista Nogueras. Waves and Swells II. 3.25 x 5 x 5 inches. High-fired stoneware. 2020. (Included in Objects of Desire.)

Although it’s not hard for the store to give such an impression nowadays, visits by those who can don’t go to waste. While the same can be said for all art, being able to see and, in Aphro’s case, touch art objects in person is a worthwhile experience to be had.

The first and last time a member of the Cartellino Team went, it was shortly before MECQ to view Artinformal’s then-exhibitions, 3C26, also curated by Frondoso, and Langgeneger’s solo show. (Sadly, the shows didn’t extend after the enhanced measures’ implementation, so we covered 16 instead.) After chatting with one of the gallerists, the writer was directed to Aphro, which was just a two-minute walk away.

There’s a sense of serendipity that rushed with the discovery, a kind of clandestine thrill. Snug in the fresh, green, culture-savvy enclave that is The Alley, Aphro and its neighbors (the Drawing Room, Bellas Artes Projects Manila, Writer’s Block) seem largely untouched by the pandemic. That is to say, as something of a hidden hub in Makati, the neat design of the space doesn’t have you think there should be more people than social distancing allows.

If you find yourself dropping by Artinformal Makati, Aphro’s worth a stop. For those interested and able to see the pieces featured in Objects of Desire in person, sanitization measures are, of course, in place.

Fermina Daza 7.5 x 12 in facemask of religious tapestry and the artist’s thong lingerie 2020 Cartellino
Jan Sunday. Fermina Daza. 7.5 x 12 inches. Facemask of religious tapestry and the artist’s thong lingerie. 2020. (Included in Objects of Desire.)

Aphro is located at The Alley at Karrivin, Karrivin Plaza, 2316 Chino Roces Ave. Extension, Makati. Their online show, Objects of Desire, continues until September 26. See what they have in store through their online catalogue. Hours: Tues - Sat ; 11 AM - 8 PM

Anchor photo courtesy of Aphroliving.